Japan will lock horns with China on January 27 and will then go against Saudi Arabia on February 1 as they aim to make their way to the finals in Qatar next November.
are sitting second in Group B of the Asian qualification section, withAustralia
being only one part behind in third place. The top two countries will get qualified for a spot at theWorld Cup
; finishing third, however, will need a play-off.
During the friendly on Uzbekistan which comes before the key double-header, just domestic-based players will participate. However, Japan want to have overseas players available for the battles againstChina
. In order for that to happen, the Japanese government should relax strict rules regarding the Omicron coronavirus infections that are on the rise.
the Japanese FA’s technical director, is asking the authorities to make exemptions for returning footballers, emphasizing how important reaching the World Cup is.
The Japanese government should know the significance of our participation in the Qatar World Cup,”
"I believe we will negotiate various conditions for the games against China and Saudi Arabia. It is imperative we have our best squad for the game.
"At the moment I am praying and keeping an hourly watch on the omicron trends.
Should Japan be able to use their overseas-based players, it means
would miss yet another Celtic game in the Premiership, as well as the Old Firm clash with rangers on February 2.
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